it is ‘only’ the theft of goods. Namely, policemen take the children’s
goods away from them, goods paid for with money, without returning it,
without paying for it, or even handing them a form attesting it had been
Sometimes they are the soldiers who make the little venders stand
outside in the cold and rain on a small mound next to the checkpoint, as
punishment, or they smash the goods down to the ground, again and again,
and sometimes the police picks them up in its van and leaves them out in
some faraway field, to make their way back alone, make them learn their
lesson. And sometimes it’s done with a beating, with or without a stick.
Soldiers or policemen. In the field nearby, or inside the vans, or even
with a billy-club,
Like the one police officer David Revivo used on the four children after
they were hunted down, inside the filthy staircase of the Youth Division
on Shlomtzion Street (West Jerusalem).
We lodged a complaint on behalf of the children against police officer
David Revivo with the Police Internal Investigation Department.
Not because we thought him a lone culprit, or that if David Revivo would
never harass them again, the abuse of the children and venders in
general would cease.
We lodged our complaint because we had his name. And because the
children asked us to do so, because they were so terrified of him.
Because we could not extricate them from their lives, no matter how much
we wanted to. From a faulty parenthood that sends them day in day out
morning till night, out into this menace, and from the Occupation that
does not see them as human beings. But at least, David Revivo, who in
addition to everything else uses his billy-club on them, at least he
wouldn’t go on terrifying them, we hoped together with them. In our
hybris and naivete we thought that we could remove him, at least. For
after all we had all four children and another two who were not of the
same family, willing to testify against him. To identify him as the one
who took them to the Youth Division, and beat them up with his
billy-club. And how another policeman said, why are you beating them up,
a policeman they could describe if asked to. And exact details about the
abuser himself, his looks and his police van and his partner. And we,
ourselves, privileged as non-Palestinians, we too can testify that this
policeman is a liar. Or at least a potential liar. About how we once
came to the crossroads and the children told us he had just taken away
their miserable packets of chewing gum and stashed them in his trunk and
we asked him about it and he denied having done it, and then his partner
at the time, a volunteer who introduced himself by name, and didn’t know
what his partner had just said, told us that indeed, David Revivo had
taken the children’s chewing gum packets and they are right in that
trunk. In other words, he had stolen them. Contrary to what David Revivo
said, himself. And all of this was on video, that could be summoned for
inquiry, as well as we ourselves.
Here is our complaint to the Police Internal Investigation Department,
as well as the answer we have finally received from the Police
Internal Investigation Department after nearly two years of endless
requests, telling us there is no basis for inquiry.
A named policeman beat up children with his billy-club. There are
witnesses. There is opinion stating that he doesn’t tell the truth.
There is a learned opinion that this must be investigated. And the
answer of the Police Internal Investigation Department that there is
nothing to be done.
Because in a state where civil rights are accorded on the basis of
ethnicity, and the rights to property and health and education and
freedom of movement and work are accorded on the basis of ethnicity,
even the definition of childhood – so we learn – is based on ethnicity.
Because the Occupation authorities and ruling power naturally hold hands
when the “enemy” is Palestinian. Even if it is a child. Because there is
no such thing as a Palestinian child. Only a Palestinian.
And if it’s a Palestinian, his blood is free for the taking.
And that is the whole story, of Palestinians under Occupation, and
always has been, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
Translated by Tal Haran